Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pulling Plugs, Amen Bingo, TV, & Sow Ears

This post originally appeared on February 6, 2008, in the Smith Mountain Eagle.

Howdy! Ida B. Peevish coming at you from Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop in the heart of downtown Rock Bottom, US of A, where my manicurist, Honey Sue Sweetwater, wants to announce that she has become a wedding planner as well as a manicurist. The two careers actually complement each other on account she can talk about your wedding plans while she paints your nails. She is real good at multi-tasking like that. Given the success of a certain show on the CMT channel, a lot of Rock Bottom couples who were just gonna go out and get hitched as cheaply as possible are now trying to out-do each other when it comes to the actual wedding. Some are even thinking in terms of taping the ceremony and selling the tapes on eBay. Anyhow, if there is money to be made, Honey Sue Sweetwater is there for you. If you’re thinking about getting hitched, whether as a repeater or as a first-timer, come talk to Honey Sue. If you’re currently a first-timer who wants to be a repeater (only with a different spouse), my dee-vorce lawyer, Maycomb Philmore Payne, is running a special this week and will be glad to consult with you after you pay his retainer which you should do in unmarked bills in a plain envelope. Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. My kids got all these fancy electronical stuff for Christmas and now they’re always plugged in to something. They can’t even hear me nag them while they’re involved with their earphones, cellphones, some kind of game playing thing-a-mabob, and their laptops. What should I do to get their attention?—Tuned-out Mama

Dear Ma: How about pulling a few plugs? That’ll get their attention real quick. On the other hand, this might not be a good idea. It might give them ideas in a couple of decades when you’re on life support. Most of the mamas down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop can’t figure why would you want your teenagers’ attention anyhow? Usually they only pay attention to you if they want money or want to complain about something. If they’re quiet and you know where they are, count your blessings.

Dear Ida B. What’s up with the Rock Bottom Church of the Surging Inner Spirit? I hear attendance is way up?—Can’t Believe It

Dear Unbeliever: Yep, it’s true. Thanks to a recent innovation the place has been packed the last couple of Sundays and nobody is sleeping through the Reverend Al E. Looyah’s sermons like they used to. Since the Rev. Al instituted what he likes to call “Amen Bingo,” both attendance and attentiveness have perked up substantially. How it works it this: attendees are sold Bingo cards when they enter. During the sermon, Rev. Al E. will periodically pause mid-sentence to call out a Bingo number which his wife Glorie-Hallie draws from the baptismal font and discretely hands him. When somebody wins, they have to call out “Amen!” instead of “Bingo!” for it to count, and then a new game starts. The winners have to wait until the service is over before they go to the special “Amen Corner” to collect their winnings. This is a win-win situation for everybody. The church makes some extra money from the sale of Bingo cards, the place is packed, everybody stays awake, and a few folks get their prayers answered right on the spot.

Dear Ida B. I hear tell that the TV I finally paid off last year ain’t gonna work once them TV stations start sending out them Digi-Tell signals instead of the Annie-Log signals that they now send out. Is this some wild rumor or what? If I get one of them new TVs, what’s to stop the TV folks from thinking up another way of sending out signals? Ida B, me and my wife and dozen or so kids (hers, mine, and ours—although I think a few neighbor kids sneaked in and might be passing theirselves off as ours) and our assorted in-laws are simple folk who cain’t afford to be shelling out money every time we feel the need to be entertained. Do you have any suggestions to help us out?—Stressed

Dear Stressed: With so many folks at your home, I don’t see how you can watch TV much anyhow, what with all the noise, fighting kids, in-laws, etc., that you are bound to have around. I suggest you sell the TV to one of the neighbors before they realize that it will soon be out-dated. If there is a show you really want to watch, it will be easier to go down to the Rock Bottom Appliance Emporium and watch one of their demos. If they ask you to leave, you just say that you haven’t made up your mind yet and move over to the next TV.

Dear Ida B. Is that old saying true that you can’t make a silk purse from a sow’s ear? If you can, would this be a good science fair project?—Curious & Desperate

Dear C&D: Yep, it’s true. Unless you can somehow get a passel of silkworms to infest a sow’s ear and cover it with silk, you had better give up on this idea as a science fair project. Now if you needed a home-ec project, you might be able to make the sow’s ear into a one-of-a-kind designer pigskin purse, but make sure the ear is not still attached to the sow when you try this. For all y’all other kids that haven’t thought up your science fair projects yet, Alma Motter, the principal of Rock Bottom High School, was just in to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop for her twice-weekly root touch-up, and she said that no longer can kids have projects based on any home-brew recipes nor can they have projects based on the effects of loud music on crop growth. She is tired of being raided for one and having to listen to the other.

Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Cheese Cutting, Groundhogs, & Wedding Do-Overs

This column originally appeared in the Smith Mountain Eagle on January 23, 2008.

Howdy! Ida B. Peevish coming at you from Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop in the heart of downtown Rock Bottom, US of A, where we are running our annual “Hat Hair Repair” special for all y’all who have had trouble maintaining your up-do under winter weather conditions. You would be surprised at what we can do with industrial strength hairspray and a little super glue. All we ask is that you don’t put your hat back on until everything has dried. Otherwise, you might be making a permanent commitment to that hat. Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. Several months ago, you said that committees had formed at Our Lady of the Rip-Rap to determine what cheese would be served on the communion wafers to properly accent the communion wine. Did you ever hear if they made a decision?—Cheese Whiz

Dear Whizzy: Last I heard from Father Rocky Shore was that committees are still working on this. So far, the only cheese they’ve flat out rejected is limburger. Until a final cheesy decision is made, several choices are being offered, based on what’s on special on Saturday at Rock Bottom Shoppette. Last Sunday, for example, they had brie, cheddar, havarti, and edam. The week before that they had a bunch of bottles of that squeeze cheese, but most folks thought that wasn’t classy enough, especially since you had to squeeze the bottle yourself and some folks got a little greedy.

Also, a faction has arisen regarding spreadable cheese versus sliceable cheese. One group argues that folks can spread the spreadable cheese themselves pretty quick, whereas cutting the cheese takes time and some cut it too big unless there’s one designated cheese-cutter, which places an undue burden on that person. The other group argues that those spreading their own cheese might also take advantage and take too big a helping, and having a designated spreader would also be an undue burden.

Anyhow, until things are worked out, they are going to try to offer four choices each communion (two spreadable, two sliceable, depending on what’s on special), but you are only allowed to commune once so you got to decide in advance which cheese you want on your wafer. Father Shore says the security cameras will be recording those who go through more than one line, and he will expect to see the transgressors at confession.

Dear Ida B. Now that Christmas and New Years are over, what is the next big holiday in Rock Bottom?—Needs to Celebrate Something

Dear Needy: You must be new in town or you would know that Ground Hog Day is a special holiday here in Rock Bottom. I generally run a “Come Out of Hiding and Get Fixed Up” special here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop for all the folks who didn’t get out all winter and it shows. There are always plenty of festivities, including a tractor-pull and Bingo tournament.

Also, there is usually a contest to guess the time the groundhog comes out, so you might want to buy your ticket early before all the best times are taken. One year, they had a beauty pageant at the groundhog hole, but the bathing suit competition didn’t work too good, what will the sub-freezing temperatures and all. This year, Rock Bottom Poet Laureate Anna Motter Peyah will open the ceremonies with the epic poem she composed to celebrate the groundhog’s achievements, so most folks plan on being late to this year’s ceremony.

If the groundhog don’t show up, Mayor Portius Peabody always has a back-up rodent in the back of his pick-up, so the show will go on. He says for y’all not to bring any dawgs with you no matter how much they want to attend on account it don’t look good if some critter attacks the groundhog (or its substitute) before it gets a good look at its shadow or lack thereof.

Dear Ida B. Flossie-Mae and me just watched that new show, “My Big Redneck Wedding” down at Rock Bottom Appliance Emporium. Somehow our electric got cut off again, but we figured we needed a night out on the town so that’s how we come to see it. We always wanted a big wedding to make all my in-laws jealous and to maybe make a little money while we’re at it, so we really want to get on that show. Do you know if them TV people take folks that might already be married but ain’t sure?

Here’s the situation: Me and Flossie-Mae had us an outdoor wedding last November, but I think we didn’t get totally nuptualized. There is a real possibility that I didn’t say “I do,” on account a trophy buck came into my sights about that time—or if I did say it, the blast from my 30.06 drowned out what I said. Also, the preacher fell out of his deer stand right before he finished the ceremony, so nobody heard any man-and-wife pronouncement, just the scream and the thud. Plus, everybody had such a good time at the reception that nobody remembers much about it. Therefore, I think we qualify for a wedding do-over.

Anyhow, Ida B, the TV people say that the bride must be at least 18, and Flossie-Mae is durn close. We got all the things they are looking for and more—dawgs, hawgs, ATVs, guns, home-made liquid refreshment (and I ain’t talking lemonade, if you get my drift), relatives what don’t get along real good with each other, several ex-wives, suitable locations for mud-wrassling, etc. I’m thinking instead of a fall wedding, we could have it in the summer so the bridesmaids can wear Daisy Duke outfits instead of coveralls. What do you think?—Do-Over Guy

Dear Done-It: While I would love to have the hair business to get y’all’s wedding party into shape (The “Daisy Duke” look is one of our hairstyle specialties down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop), plus I could provide some real good bait-based bridesmaids’ gifts, the bad news is that y’all are considered man and wife in the eyes of Rock Bottom whether or not all the wedding technicalities took place. Also, the TV people have already taped all the shows they need. The best I can suggest is that one anniversary y’all might recreate the wedding of your dreams and hope it attracts media attention. If you do, remember that all of us down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop will do what we can to make y’all look good for the occasion.

Well, that’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Resolutions, Running Around, & Body Art

This was originally published on January 9, 2008.

Howdy! Ida B. Peevish coming at you from Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop in the heart of downtown Rock Bottom, US of A, where we are having our annual New Year’s sale on old bait and old hair products. You can save a bundle on whatever we got that is about to expire or that won’t survive another freezing and thawing if the power goes off again. Also, we are running our regular “New Year, New You, New Start” special on complete make-overs, wherein you won’t even know yourself by the time we get done with you. Neither will most of your friends or relatives, so it gives y’all a good chance to upgrade to a higher class of acquaintances or avoid all those pesky in-laws what was giving you grief if that is what you want to do. Now lessee what we got in the mail:

Dear Ida B. I always have trouble keeping my New Year’s resolutions. Do you have any ideas how I can keep them?—Temptation

Dear Tempted: If you resolve to get your hair done weekly at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait shop, we will call to remind you several times of your appointment. That should be an easy resolution to keep. Otherwise, you have two options: You should just resolve to do things that you want to do anyhow, or you should resolve not to make any resolutions.

Dear Ida B. I suspected my current wife Lu-Rhetta June was running around on me, and when I heard from a mostly reliable source (her previous husband) that she was seeing some man out at Slick Water Lake, I got in my boat and went to check things out. Well, Ida B, after I’d found a place in a little cove to watch from, I could see pretty plain through them big winders what they was doing. To start off, they was drinking beer out of a glass, which seems like a big waste on account the bottles are so convenient. I figgered that man she was with weren’t up to no good, because he poured the beer for her hisself rather than making her serve him. After they’d had a few beers, they commenced to dancing, and they danced closer and closer. It was hard to tell who was which, they was so close-dancing. Then I saw something that I just couldn’t believe! It surprised me so much I like have swallered my chaw right in mid-chew! All around my boat were the biggest durn stripers I ever seen! Musta been fifteen or twenty—all trophy size! Well, my chaw kindly stuck in my throat, so I commenced to coughing. That caused the fish to swim away and the man to close the blinds. What I need to know, Ida B, is what is the best bait to use for fish that big? I plan to take my rod and a whole bucket of bait the next time I suspect Lu-Rhetta June of running around. I can always get another wife, but it’s not often I get a chance to catch a really big fish.—Anxious

Dear Anxious: You are in luck! Down here at Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop, we are currently running our clearance special on our winter stock, so we can give you a big bucket of all our most popular bait. We will give you enough red worms, night crawlers, crawdads, and I don’t know what all, that will meet all your bait needs for any circumstance. No matter how picky them Slick Water stripers might be, there will surely be something in the bucket that will appeal to them. As for Lu-Rhetta June, you might tell her to come on down to Ida’s Salon of Beauty & Live Bait Shop for a new look to make her more appealing, too.

Dear Ida B. My boy Bubba, Jr. wants to get hisself tattooed. I have told him that this is a mistake and he will regret it, but he says all the other over-age kids in 7th grade have body art and he feels left out. He wants to be a trend-setter as well as a crowd follower. What should I do?—Concerned Mama

Dear Ma: Sometimes you gotta let kids make one mistake so they don’t make a lot more. It helps if you can control the mistake to make it more of a learning experience. If he wants to follow the trend of body art while at the same time also setting a trend, he will be in an awkward position. Therefore, what I recommend you do is take him down to Rock Bottom Livestock Supply and Body Art Emporium and have him get their “branding” special. This particular procedure is much faster and cheaper than a tattoo. Granted they don’t have a lot of designs to choose from, but they use genuine antique branding irons, it is quick—and mostly germ-free because of the high heat required, and I can pretty much guarantee you that your boy won’t want to go through the process ever again. The price will be based on how many employees are required to hold him down during the procedure, but it will still be cheaper than a tattoo.

That’s it for this go-round. Remember, you get what you pay for, talk is cheap, and my advice is free.